Skip to main content

Don't expect Vision 6-foot-9, if you will, to end any time soon.

Year 1 with this funky Toronto Raptors roster went better than anyone could have expected coming into the season and it doesn't sound like the organization is ready to stray too far from its love for versatile wings next year. 

"I really like the length and all that stuff. What I would say is we need to get those guys more versatile," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said during his final press conference of the season. "We need bigger guys that can guard smaller guys and bigger guys or schemes that can guard bigger guys when there’s an extreme at either end."

For Nurse, the biggest need for the team is just more talent to fill out a bench that ranked among the league's worst this past year. Toronto's reserves averaged a league-worst 14.4 minutes and 25.7 points per game and forced Nurse to push his starters a little bit more than he probably should have.

"You can’t go into a season with eight or nine guys anymore," he said. "There’s COVID that knocks a bunch of guys out and ever-prevalent injuries seem to be way more frequent than I can remember, not just us but around the league. ... So whatever reason that is, it means your ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th guys better be able to go out there and play and not just look like it once in a while, they’ve gotta be players."

Other than that, the Raptors need to add more shooting. They ranked in the bottom half of the league in three-pointers made and three-point percentage and their inability to make shots proved to be the team's Achilles' heel in the playoffs. Against the 76ers, Toronto shot just 29.9% from behind the arc.

"We could probably use some catch-and-shoot," he said before doubling down on his desire to add more versatility. "I’m still after some more wing players, some more athletic wing players so we can continue to come at you in the style of play we want to come at you with."

Some of that will certainly come from development, Nurse said. Precious Achiuwa should become a better shooter this summer, Scottie Barnes should improve as an offensive weapon, and progress from Gary Trent Jr. as a catch-and-shoot player will go a long way next season. If Toronto can complement that with a few more rotation players either through free agency or via trade, the Raptors have already shown this group is well on its way back to true NBA contention.

Further Reading

Gary Trent Jr. discusses Toronto's bright future & why he's so comfortable with the Raptors

Scottie Barnes shares his offseason plans & his love for Toronto during exit interviews

Takeaways from Thad Young's exit interview as free agency approaches